Defining Open Authority

An attempt to illustrate, define, & discuss the intersection between museum
authority & participatory digital culture. | Ask me about museums & Wikipedia.

3 years ago 18 notes wikipedia wikipedia in the classroom museums students education

Wikipedia Meaning Mapping:

33 Middle & High School students’ thoughts on Wikipedia.


Compiled before and after participating in a Museum Apprentice Program Wikipedia project in which they worked in teams to research notable objects in the museum’s collection, learn Wikipedia, and create their own Wikipedia articles.

Black ink= Student’s answer to the question “What do you think or know about Wikipedia?” prior to beginning project.

Red ink= Staff clarifying points by asking “What do you mean by that?”

Blue ink= Student’s answer to the question “What do you now think or know about Wikipedia?” following the project.

Green ink= Staff clarifying new points by asking “What do you mean by that?”


  • 19 students now believe Wikipedia to be more reliable.
  • 7 students specifically pointed out the importance of citations.
  • 2 students “experimented” with its accuracy (both were satisfied).
  • 1 student felt Wikipedia to be “less reliable” after now being wary of sources.
  • 10 students pointed out that their teachers dislike Wikipedia.
  • 5 of these students made a point to disagree with their teacher’s views.
  • 7 students commented on its difficulty in use or the intricacy of the process.
  • 2 students found Wikipedia easy due to the guides within Wikipedia.
  • 4 students commented on the Wikipedia community & global accessibility.
  • 3 students pointed out the donation requests or that it is free.

Admittedly non-objective favorite quotes:

"It is more reliable than my social studies teacher says."

"This is what the internet was made for - to bring more knowledge."

(Wikipedia is) discredited. It’s not given as much credit as it should be….I still don’t think teachers will give it due credit, but now I think I will give it more credit than before.

While it’s still not used for school…(Wikipedia is) the future of research. People will use it more… it will become our main source of research.

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    With all things new it takes only the acceptance of science to make it be. To know through aggregate sources is to be...
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